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Employee DEI training and development

On Feb. 1, 2023, we issued State HR Directive 23-01, which requires foundational diversity, equity and inclusion training for all employees of executive branch agencies.

We are committed to providing continuous updates to ensure employees are equipped to complete this training. 

About the directive and the training

What is the purpose of the directive? 

This directive provides direction to state agencies to meet standards for employee diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. Please see the DES training webpage for more details about this training. 

Who is required to take this training? 

All executive branch employees.  

When does the directive take effect? 

February 1, 2023. 

When will the training begin? 

The anticipated start time is March 2023. Prior to the start date, DES will release information for scheduling and training delivery. 

What do we need to do to meet this requirement? 

Each employee must complete the training, which is grounded in statewide foundational competencies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to support workplace culture change and service delivery improvements. There are two requirements: 

Phase 1 - Prerequisite 

The viewing of "Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America," a two-hour documentary by Jeffery Robinson available to state employees in the Washington State Learning Center. Many state employees may have already viewed this documentary prior to the release of the directive.   

Employees who have viewed the documentary outside of the Learning Center will need to have their completion recorded in the Learning Center. Agencies are responsible for verification. 

Phase 2 - Training 

DES is in the process of finalizing the training. In partnership with DES, we will continue to provide updates. Agencies are expected to meet the directive's requirement by ensuring all employees complete the foundational training within five years after DES begins delivering the training. 

Where did this directive come from? 

In April 2018, Gov. Jay Inslee called on agency directors to take action to create inclusive and respectful workplaces through a memorandum, Inclusive and Respectful Work Environments. In 2022, Gov. Inslee issued Executive Order 22-02, “Achieving Equity in Washington State Government,” which also calls on OFM State HR to issue a directive requiring all executive cabinet agency employees to complete DEI training developed by DES.  

As a result of the governor’s direction, a statewide DEI Training Committee developed recommendations for foundational DEI training for the state workforce. The executive sponsors of this work – DES, OFM, and the Office of Equity – have worked collaboratively to include these recommendations in the enterprise course, A Path Toward Equity: Disrupting Structural Racism through Awareness and Belonging.  

What is the purpose of the foundational DEI training? 

The course aims to develop shared understanding and language around DEI and help employees gain skills necessary for a respectful and inclusive workplace. 

Can I get a waiver for this training if I have completed other DEI training? 

Any waivers from this directive for individual employees or for approval of an equivalent non-cabinet agency-provided training must be approved by DES/OFM/Office of Equity – Director of State Human Resources and the Director of Office of Equity or their designees.

Last updated
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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